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Recycle Right

Recycling Questions Answered

America Recycles Day is November 15—right around the corner. It seems like an appropriate time to clear up a few questions about what really can go into your curbside recycling bin.  

There are plenty of items that are recyclable, but just not in your curbside bin! Here are a few tips to make recycling more successful. 

Plastic can cause some confusion with recycling. In St. Charles, we can recycle plastic numbers 1-5 and 7.   

A few types of plastics to keep out of your curbside bin: Styrofoam, all #6 plastics (hard clamshell with #6 on bottom); flexible packaging (plastic bags, shredded cheese bags, chip bags, toothpaste tubes, flexible hair products, etc.); plastic cutlery, and plastic straws.    

Plastics to add to your bin: containers like laundry detergent bottles, hard shampoo bottles and #5 plastic tubs (cottage cheese, sour cream, etc.). It’s important to check the bottom of containers for the number. Plastic lids and caps – leave those on the containers! A good rule of thumb, if you can’t find a number, it’s best to throw it in the garbage.   

Glass containers belong in your bin, but not drinking glasses, windows, mirrors or other non-container glass.   

Aluminum cans and steel/tin cans (soup cans, veggie cans, etc) can go in the curbside bin while random scrap metal pieces should be kept out of your bin to be recycled elsewhere. 

Cardboard, junk mail, newspapers, cereal boxes are all okay to add to your bin. Keep out cardboard egg cartons, tissues, paper towels and freezer boxes.   

Recycling is an ever-changing industry as new technology becomes available and markets fluctuate.   

Kane County Recycles offers a wealth of knowledge on curbside recycling and resources on where to recycle other items that can’t go into a curbside bin. 

This November 15, share a few tips and tricks with your neighbors so we can all do better at recycling! 

updated Oct 30, 2019